Michael Massey news gets worse for the KC Royals

Kansas City's second baseman heads for the Injured List.
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Any hopes that KC Royals second baseman Michael Massey's latest back issue would keep him out of the the lineup only a day or so were sadly dashed Sunday morning.

The club announced it's placed Massey on the 10-day Injured List; the move is retroactive to Saturday, meaning he won't be eligible to return until the first full week of June at the earliest.

The culprit is a low back ligament sprain. He left Friday night's series opener at Tampa Bay with what the Royals preliminarily characterized as lower back tightness. Just an inning earlier, he'd belted a three-run homer that pushed the club to a four-run lead and propelled them to an 8-1 victory over the Rays. He didn't play Saturday.

The back injury is Massey's second of the season and is forcing his second trip to the IL. He suffered a lower back strain just under two weeks before Opening Day that prevented him from playing until April 19.

What does Michael Massey's injury mean for Kansas City?

Massey's latest injury robs the Royals of his good glove and the hot bat that's been a key to their potent offense. He's hitting .294 with six homers and 23 RBI in 29 games.

Not unpredictably, Kansas City immediately recalled versatile Nick Loftin from Triple-A Omaha to take Massey's place on the 26-man roster. But if Loftin sees action Sunday, it won't be as the Royals' starting second-sacker — instead, manager Matt Quatraro is deploying veteran Adam Frazier at the keystone.

In what can best be described as a disappointing season at the plate so far, Frazier is slashing .208/.310/.277; he's homered once and driven in nine runs in 37 games. Defensively, he's played second 23 times and committed two errors in 89 chances.

Who now gets the bulk of playing time at second remains to be seen. But Massey's absence gives the club the chance to take an extended look there at Loftin, who had a .371 OBP and hit .276 in an earlier stint with the Royals this season, and slashed .323/.368/.435 in 19 games with them last year.

Loftin played third for Omaha Saturday night and went 1-for-4 in the Storm Chasers' 4-3 victory over Columbus. This Triple-A season has been good to him — he's hitting .309 with an excellent .409 OBP and four homers and 15 RBI in 24 games.

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